Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chilling smiles

What does it say about a person when, once they are accused of cold-blooded murder, they mug for their mug?




SAN ANTONIO -- Nearly 12 hours after a man was found beaten to death, San Antonio police named a suspect in the slaying.

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Gabriel Reyes Castillo, 33.

Castillo is accused of killing a man in his 30s at an apartment complex in the 2500 block of Clara Lane on the city's Northwest Side at around 6 a.m. during a confrontation, police said. Police said the victim was assaulted with a shovel and had blunt force trauma and lacerations on his body.
(from KSAT-12)





SAN ANTONIO -- Police arrested a man suspected of murdering another man on the Northeast Side last month.

The suspect, 26-year-old Troy King had a smile on his face as he was led out of the police department Wednesday night. King is accused of killing 22-year-old Troy Skidmore.

Police say King and another man, Leroy Peterson, chased Skidmore through the Spring Hill Apartments in the 4800 block of Raybon and then pulled out a gun and shot him several times.
(from WOAI-TV)


I hope this smiling thing doesn't become a trend.

"SAPD Helicopter Lands On Highway 281"

Not something you see every day.
SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio Police Department helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday night on Highway 281 at Nakoma.

...

Traffic on Highway 281 was backed up for miles.
(from KSAT-12)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just saying no

Not everyone might agree with the way this clerk handled the situation (and it's fortunate that the robber was something of the non-committal sort), but I think it's amusing that he simply said, "No," and that was quite enough.
[SAPD Sergeant Daniel] Alonzo said the store clerk told officers a man walked in, pointed a gun at him and demanded cash. But the gunman ended up leaving the store empty-handed.

"Basically, the clerk just stood his ground and said he didn't have any money to give him," Alonzo said. "The suspect really wasn't too threatening with the weapon. He just asked him for the money twice, and turned around and walked out."

Alonzo said witnesses reported seeing the robber casually walking down a nearby street. The clerk told police he thought he recognized the man as a customer who lives in the area.
(from KSAT-12)

Two more things:

1. That robber is lucky the clerk didn't have a gun of his own, or that he had one and decided not to use it.

2. What dimwit thinks it's a good idea to rob a store where he's a regular customer?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Missing the obvious

Am I wrong, or is someone missing something here?
SAN ANTONIO - An update to an emotional story we've been tracking here at News 4 WOAI. A South Texas man lost his truck, trailer and best friend while shopping at The Rim. But now Chris Cooley and his dog JB are now back together for Christmas. True to his word, the finder was rewarded with a $10,000 dollar check. Still no sign of the stolen truck or trailer.
(from WOAI-TV)

I'll give you a sign ---- look in the garage of that guy you just gave ten grand to.

Oh, and by the way, this story has been getting a lot of media play that is sympathetic to the guy who got his dog stolen because it was in his truck when it got stolen while he was inside a store doing some shopping. During the summer, the same media bombards us with messages about how bad it is that animals get left in vehicles while the owners go shopping, so why the hell aren't they taking this guy to task for doing the same thing during the holidays? I understand the juiciness of a story where a guy is offering $10K as a reward for a pet, but how about just a little bit of consistency, please.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Someone who should have gripped a little more

There's a reason cartoon burglars are depicted with sacks on their backs. It makes it easier to carry their ill-gotten loot.

Really, it does.
Officers say the two suspects pried open the back door of a Burlington Coat Factory store on Southwest Military early Wednesday morning.
Then, in their haste to get away, they dropped several items. All officers had to do was follow a trail of stolen backpacks and clothing to a nearby apartment where both men were arrested.
(from KENS-5)

Couldn't they have at least put the clothing in the backpacks?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Refining your Christmas plant search

By the way, if your nine-year-old son asks you what the difference is between holly and mistletoe, and you are looking up images of these plants on Bing to show him (and you don't have the filter set to Strict), make sure you type in "holly berries and leaves", not just "holly".

It avoids a lot of questions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Headline of the day

There's all kinds of strange with this headline.

"Dog blamed for fire on Gomer Pyle Street"

Everyone seems to be OK, though. Even the dog.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Someone who should drink a little less

Here's a thought: If you're going to engage in some criminal activity, perhaps you shouldn't drink and burgle. Or burgle, then drink.
It appears a burglary suspect's fingers did the talking, helping San Antonio police to identify him as the person who broke into a west side home in September.

The arrest warrant affidavit showed police found fingerprints on a liquor bottle in the home, in the 400 block of S. Sabinas Street, which they traced back to Jesse Moreno, 43.

Moreno was arrested Thursday on a charge of burglary.

The homeowner reported the break-in, telling investigators that no one actually lived there, the affidavit said.

However, the homeowner said there were several items still in the residence that belonged to his now-dead parents.
(from KSAT-12)

Like, apparently, the wet bar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Moderating comments

I've had to turn the comment moderation on. I don't like to, but I've been getting a lot of spam comments lately. Please bear with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How not to sketch a suspect

Here is the description of the man who robbed a couple of students at gunpoint on the campus of San Antonio College:
The robber is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20’s. He has black hair/short dreadlocks and brown eyes and is 5’09” to 5’10” tall and weighs about 160 - 200 lbs. The man was wearing a black baseball cap, black jacket, blue jeans, black t-shirt, and a gold-colored necklace with a gold-colored headphones pendant.
(from WOAI-TV)

And here's the sketch of the suspect as released by the Alamo Colleges Police Department:





Whiskey.

Tango.

Foxtrot.

Dude doesn't have a lick of hair on his head, much less dreadlocks. Who sketched this? An art student that ran out of time?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some guys who should have thought a little more

Like, didn't you think that the stuff you were stealing would be hard to hide?
SAN ANTONIO -- Three CPS Energy employees have been fired after being found with what could be stolen utility poles.

The investigation into the case started when a concerned citizen followed a speeding CPS Energy truck to a rural East Bexar County road.

Thomas Robles said he was suspicious of the truck's driver.

"They ended up going into this road behind me where they went to the back and I just gave them a little time and went back and checked and that's where they were unloading the poles like they were in a hurry," said Robles.

Robles took photographs and said wooden utility poles were being used as fence posts on the property.

...

Robles said he saw about 10 new poles on the truck and suspected that the wire being used in the fencing is from CPS Energy as well.
(from KSAT-12)

And didn't you think your neighbor would notice your fence -- your nice, new, sturdy fence -- and wonder where you got your materials so cheap? And so different from any other kind of fence material?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gettin' western right at home

If you can't party with your own family, who can you party with?
Police said several people were at a party at this home in the 300 block of Mount Vernon Court. The party began Saturday night and lasted throughout the night into the morning, but shortly after noon on Sunday, two brothers, 26 and 25, at the party, began arguing.

According to police, the argument spilled into the street and that's when the older man shot his younger brother several times in the stomach[.]

"Some of the witnesses decided, you know what, enough is enough, we're leaving, we're getting out of here. Next thing you know, they turn their head because they hear shots being fired," said Sgt. Steven Trujillo with the San Antonio Police Dept.
(from KSAT-12)

As of this writing, the shooter is on the loose, and the shootee is recovering from surgery.

And, by the way, what a party! They were still going strong after noon the next day!


UPDATE: Oh damn, what the hell is up with this brother thing?
SAN ANTONIO - Around 3 am Sunday morning a pair of brothers got into fight, sending the oldest to the hospital. According to police, a family argument got out of hand on the Southeast Side. That's when one of the men allegedly pulled a knife on his older brother and stabbed him several times in the stomach. After that he took off. The brother that was stabbed was taken to the hospital for his injuries.
(from WOAI-TV)

That's one shooting and one stabbing carried out by siblings against each other in the same time period. Hey people, here's a thought -- Let's stop partying with family! At least for a little while. M'kay?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bull!

A bull tried to make a run for it on the South Side, but he didn't get far.
SAN ANTONIO -- A bull escaped from the L&H Meat Packing Company Friday afternoon. It sent people on a chase for nearly an hour, and ended up on the campus of the Blessed Sacrament Academy a little over a mile away.

Witnesses say the bull followed a lady walking her dog in the area. Students from a high school campus and a child development center were outside at the time. They were told to stay indoors until the bull was caught.
(from WOAI-TV)

But the lady and her dog? Eh, they're on their own.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Car crashes into church

And it got a fence, too.
Police said Isidro Palomo's Chevy Blazer smashed through a wall of Huisache Baptist Church just before 7 a.m. Thursday after he jumped out of the moving vehicle.

Palomo told police he was driving along Interstate 10 near Woodlawn Avenue when his accelerator suddenly hit the floor and became stuck. He said it sent the vehicle barreling down the highway at speeds of up to 90 mph.

"He tried to put it in neutral and use his emergency brake to slow his vehicle down and it kept on accelerating, so he exited the highway," said Officer Art Knox, with the San Antonio Police Department.

Knox said the vehicle hit a curb and Paloma jumped out, suffering a few minor cuts and bruises on his knees.

Meanwhile, the SUV kept rolling, first through a chain-link fence, then through the church wall.
(from KSAT-12)



Bonus strangeness: The pastor's reaction.
"It just goes to show you that God will use extreme measures to get somebody to church. If you won't go, He'll take you," said Bez Cummings, the church pastor, jokingly.
Well, technically it was the SUV that went. Apparently Mr. Palomo thought he didn't need no churchin', because he jumped out before he got there.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Not getting the point of your tactic

I've always thought that the point of a hunger strike was to shame entities or people into action by threatening to die on their doorstep in plain view of the broader society unless they carried out a specific course of action. And I also thought that, to be effective, one had to actually be willing to risk death for the cause.

In San Antonio, that's apparently not the case. Here, you strike until you get really, really hungry, and then you simply let someone else take over.

A Dream Act supporter is a free woman after sitting behind bars for a week.

Reverend Lorenza Smith was released from jail a short time ago. She was the lone protester who decided to not bond out right away in order to make a point. Smith says she has no regrets! [Nice editorial use of the exclamation point. No bias there, nosirree. --ed.]

...

Reverend Smith, along with 14 other UTSA Dream Act supporters were arrested last week for trespassing at the office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison does not support the legislation that would pave the way to citizenship for undocumented students - also known as the Dream Act.

...

[Smith] stopped her 12-day fast Monday after medical issues [such as impending death, maybe? --ed.] necessitated its end. Now two other church leaders will take on her fast.

(from KENS-5)

By doing this the strikers are showing that they are not willing to face any real risk to their health in the prosecution of this strike. They may be dedicated to seeing the Dream Act get passed, but they don't seem to be fully committed to the hunger tactic. In fact, to gain the upper hand, the powers-that-be need to just wait them out. The protesters may get others to fast for them in succession, and they may get more media coverage, but there doesn't seem to be any real danger to their health. Therefore, no real urgency.

At least, that's the impression I get. Your mileage may vary.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dissin' the tortilla

Tortillas replaced by pitas? In San Antonio?

Surely you jest.
Watch your back, tortillas — you have some serious competition in the form of flatbread.

Known the world over in many forms — naan, foccacia, saj, pita, chapatti — flatbreads or unleavened breads are staples in Middle Eastern, Italian and Indian cuisines.
(from the Express-News)

All of those breads are nice, and there may be quite a few places in town that feature these delectable delights, but posing "serious competition" to tortillas? Really? Tortillas are king in this town, and they always will be.

I'm going to make a bold prediction here: Never will you ever see a co-worker come into your office or workplace carrying a bag of tacos made with beans and cheese and foccacia. And, if you do see this, something is wrong with your co-worker. Stay away from him. And don't accept his carne guisada on naan either.

Leading the police on a chase.

There was some excitement all the way out to Boerne this morning.
When police arrived at a home in the 11000 block of Whisper Willow they found the suspect armed with a gun. Police say the suspect then set the house on fire and made a getaway on his motorcycle.

SAPD followed in patrol cars along with Boerne police and Kendall County Sheriff's deputies.

Authorities say during the chase the gunman turned towards police several times and pointed his weapon towards them but it wasn't until the suspect jumped off his bike that they reacted.

"He jumped off his motorcycle and was running along the bike." SAPD Police Chief William McManus said.
(from KENS-5)

The cops took him out when he pointed his gun at them.

The guy also threatened his family with a sword. And the chase was a low-speed chase, though it isn't clear from this story if that low speed lasted all the way out to Boerne.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Picking the wrong illustration

I don't want to be the one to tell KSAT how to run its website, but I think that image is supposed to go with the story two slots above.



(from KSAT-12)

I could be wrong, though. I've never actually been to a Hanukkah celebration.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting the boot

Legitimate enterprise? Or scam?

You decide.
Mario Fuentes and Jacob Pena tell KENS 5 they were among a few people parked in a downtown parking lot at the corner of South Presa and Durango Saturday afternoon.

The men claim when they drove into the lot the signs said to pay $5. Fuentes said the booth was unattended but they used the pay box to pay.

...

But when they returned an hour later, Fuentes said the price on the signs was changed and several cars were booted.

"Not all the signs were covered. There was still a few signs that had $5 written on it. That's when we questioned is it $5 or $8" Pena said.

Angry and frustrated, Pena and Fuentes claim they began questioning the attendant who worked for Boot man Inc.
According to them, the attendant said "It's not my job to dispute. Just to put on the boot and take off the boot."

"We asked for a supervisor. He said there was nobody to call. There was no supervisor to be found," Pena said.

"I gave him my credit card and he processed the payment right there on the spot," Said Fuentes, "He released the cars right away."
(from KENS-5)

Be careful where you park downtown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burning down the town

Marion is a small town just east of San Antonio, but they've got some big issues with bored volunteers.
Terrance Cooksey, 36, Jeffrey Schauble, 26, and Christopher Zigalo, 25, were arrested on charges of arson and engaging in organized criminal activity.

The three are accused of setting 10 fires and attempting to set three others in the Marion area of Guadalupe County between April to July of this year.

One resident told KSAT on Tuesday what was even more shocking to her is the fact that the men accused of starting the fires were all members or prospective members of the Marion Volunteer Fire Department.
(from KSAT-12)

Which raises the question: Does a make-work program really amount to anything if the newly employed are volunteers?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raising the question ---- Why?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a sign of the end times.



(from a KENS-5 slideshow about the Amazing Acro-Cats at the Rose Theater)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Opening a museum ----- again

Didn't this place already celebrate its grand opening?
A downtown museum, which had faced some financial trouble in the past, is celebrating a grand opening with a new exhibit.

The Museo Alameda, which is located in the historic Market Square in downtown San Antonio, was shut down back in August to prepare for the new exhibit.

On Saturday, the museum opened again, showcasing its "Revolution to Renaissance" exhibit.
(from KSAT-12)

Oh, yeah, it did.
But creating a hyphenated museum is not always a smooth enterprise, as can be sensed at the Museo Alameda, which opened here to great fanfare on April 13 [2007].
(from the New York Times)

So, then why the grand opening, revisited? Because the NYT called it three years ago: The going didn't promise to be smooth when the place opened, and nothing's been smooth about the financial operations since. The City of San Antonio even had to step in and take over the maintenance and operations of the place so it wouldn't fold outright, in effect buying a white elephant for all the taxpayers to have and to hold for their very own.

But the powers-that-be are going to do all they can to make sure the museum doesn't go away, that it never closes. So, they hold another grand opening, and they swear things will be different this time.
"We're hoping that this exhibit will encourage everyone to come down here and convince everyone that we have begun a new," said [Chairman of the Board Rolando] Pablos. "This exhibit will be the starting point for many great things to come for this institution and we're hopeful that everyone in town can come look at it."
And the exhibit they're hoping will be the successful rebirth of the Museo Alameda? It's about the Mexican Revolution.

That's a bit strange, given that the museum's mission is to "tell the story of the Latino experience in America through art, history, and culture." [emphasis added]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cougars on the West Side!

OK, it was just one, and it wasn't the sexy kind. And cougars really aren't strangers to this area. But it did lead to some excitement today.
SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio police spokeswoman said the adult wild cougar that escaped from the Wild Animal Orphanage on the city's far Northwest Side Friday morning has been located.

Spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said the around 3 p.m., "Sarah," the cougar, was found in a wooded area near the intersection of Leslie Road and Loop 1604.

...

Jamie Cryer, of the Wild Animal Orphanage, said he and orphanage staff walked up on Sarah in a dry creekbed behind the property.

He said after the fired the tranquilizer dart, they walked her back on a stretcher and she was checked out by a veterinarian, who said she was fine.
(from KSAT-12)

Bonus strangeness: The name "Sarah" given to such a creature. I would have called it "Killer".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gettin' western at the wake

C'mon, guys. This is just plain rude.
SAN ANTONIO -- Family and friends gathered to say goodbye to a loved one when, San Antonio Police said, some unwanted guests showed up.

Mourners asked the pair to leave and they did, but the two returned some time later with guns.

...

They fired three shots into the air and took off.
(from KENS-5)

Any bets as to their profession?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manhandling your way to the top

When people are young, they're not always sure of what they want to do with the rest of life. Some youngsters are pushed into certain careers by their parents, some are pressured by friends, and some just do whatever they can for the money. But for all those, there are many others who are looking for that one career that is the perfect fit for them, and they just don't know what it is yet.

And then, of course, there are those that have their life-calling thrust upon them at a young age.
SAN ANTONIO -- Arm wrestling is not exactly one of the top sports in the country. For some it ranks up there with "rock, paper, scissors." But for 16-year-old Crystal Yeary, it is more than just a recreational sport. It has become her passion.

Yeary said she was visiting her cousin, who is [a] pro arm wrestler living in New Mexico, this past summer and he talked her into arm wrestling at a tournament.

She said she won and she was hooked.

"When you're up there, (it) gives like a huge adrenaline rush," said Yeary, a junior at MacArthur High School.

In August, Yeary accompanied her cousin to the Arm Wrestling Federation national tournament in Montana. She said they arrived just in time for Yeary to sign up. She wound up finishing first as a left-hander and third as a right-hander -- good enough to get an invitation to the world championships.

"It's like, all right, I want to do this for a while," she said.
(from KSAT-12)

Here's hoping that Ms. Yeary has much success -- and even more fun -- at her new-found passion. I hope she can make a career out of it, but I also hope she remembers that arm wrestling is a sport, and it is not without its dangers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting a free ride somewhere

Really, who's paying for this?
Pledging not to eat as long as necessary and drink only water and juice, a dozen University of Texas-San Antonio students said their hunger strike is an act of solidarity with similar demonstrations across the U.S. in support of the controversial Dream Act.

...

Among the students is Pamela Resendiz, a political science major who said she plans on becoming an immigration attorney.

Resendiz said she is undocumented, having been arrested and detained in the Travis County Jail and later a federal detention facility in Hutto, Texas. She said she now awaits her deportation proceedings.
(from KSAT-12)

I can tell you from personal experience that it is nearly impossible to pay for a university education with your own hard-earned money. You need assistance of some kind, whether it comes from parents, grants, or loans.

Obviously Ms. Resendiz's parents are too poor to pay for her education, or else they wouldn't have come to this country illegally. (Or let her come, if she came by herself.)

I don't think she would have gotten any grants, because, if I remember correctly, you need to provide frickin' U.S. identification in the form of a Social Security number to get them. Undocumented immigrants aren't supposed to have those.

And, if you ever apply for a loan, they won't even consider your application unless you also provide your parents' tax returns to prove that they can't finance your education fully.

So, I go back to my original question: Who the hell is paying for her education? I would like to know, given that she's so free about flaunting her undocumented status.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Going solar

Noted: San Antonio now has the largest solar farm in Texas.
The Blue Wing Solar project went on-line Nov. 4. An official ribbon cutting will take place on Nov. 9.

Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro were among those who joined Duke Energy, CPS Energy and Juwi Solar Inc. dignitaries for the ceremony.

The solar farm, which is located near Interstate 37 and U.S. Highway 181 on the far Southeast side of the city, is the largest solar farm in Texas.
(from KSAT-12)

Note: Solar power is horribly inefficient, and you'll pay more to feel green. We all will.
The project is part of CPS Energy's 2020 vision, which calls for 20 percent of its power to come from clean renewable energy resources by 2020.

"That means there's less emissions we put into the air and less pollution," said CPS Energy President & CEO Doyle Beneby.

However, Beneby added, solar energy is 2 to 3 times more expensive than traditional sources. The drawback may be a slight increase in monthly energy bills for CPS Energy customers. Beneby estimated it will only add up to a few cents extra per month on the average bill.

"Hopefully, it's going to be somewhat unnoticeable, but we are very cost conscious. We have the lowest rates of any major city and even with the addition of solar to our portfolio, we're going to keep it that way," said Beneby. [emphases added]
This project will provide power to about 1,800 homes per year. There are over 400,000 households in San Antonio. The green effect is negligible.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Skipping court

Don't feel like going to court? Just cancel your appointment.

That's what one local man tried to do. But it didn't quite work out the way he'd hoped.
A federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for an area podiatrist after he failed to show up for a hearing Thursday on charges of cheating on his taxes.

Donald E. Robinson, 66, faxed papers to the federal courthouse in San Antonio stating that his hearing had been “canceled,” and that he had issued a $300 million warrant naming himself as the surety, though he has no authority, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said at the hearing.

“As long as we get the $300 million I don't care if he shows up or not,” Biery said in jest. “The government could use that money.”

...

[Robinson] said he did not show up to his hearing because he believed he was working it out with the IRS.

“The Bible says you take it to your brother and try to settle it in the private. That's what I tried to do.”

(from the Express-News)

Yeah, except the courts don't like for you to decide whether or not you actually show up. If so, you might as well replace the benches with fax machines and great big bins to catch all those cancellation notices.

Bonus strangeness: Someone who thinks of the IRS as their brother.

"Mom Bites Child, Gets Arrested"

OK, that headline is bad enough to make every parent (and even most non-parents) cringe a little.

But the worst part is she's a repeat offender!
A 19-year-old woman was arrested after Kirby police said she bit a child hard enough to leave a bruise and visible teeth marks.

According to an arrest affidavit, Olivia Ramirez admitted to a relative that she bit the child Oct. 23.

...

This is not the first time that Ramirez has been arrested for the offense.

The affidavit stated that she was arrested in June 2009 for the same charge and was indicted by a grand jury.
(KSAT-12)

It's hard enough keeping your kids away from biters that are their own age, now we've gotta worry about the adults as well.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"Muffin fight leads to aggravated assault arrest"

There's more to this than a muffin.
Police said Vicente Cerna stayed the night at a woman's apartment. When she told him to leave the next day, he got mad and picked up a muffin and threw it at her. She then threw it back. The fight escalated, and police said Cerna pulled out a gun and threatened the woman.
(from WOAI-TV)

They have more issues than bran vs. blueberry. And I think everything can be blamed on that tattoo.

"Cancer-Stricken Boy Asks Burglars Return Bible"

I know criminals have no compassion -- or at least very little -- but, c'mon! This isn't even human!
SAN ANTONIO -- Besides the usual loot taken by burglars -- electronics, jewelry, cash -- Betsy Kinsey said whoever broke into their Northeast side home last Friday stole a source of strength for her 12-year-old son, Stephen, who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"It helps me a lot," he said.

His mother said Stephen, who had his first chemotherapy last Christmas, is looking at five years of cancer treatments.

Kinsey said her son told her, "Mommy, I wish they'd taken everything in my room and left my Bible."

...

"Bring my Bible back," Stephen said.

...

She said the thieves also stole from her daughter's diabetic supplies and her son's chemo medicine.
(from KSAT-12)

Unfortunately for that family, someone cold enough to steal diabetic supplies and chemo medicine is not going to have enough heart to return a book, so that kid will probably never see his bible again. But I certainly hope they get their medical supplies replaced soon.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Taking all the meaning away

OK, it's official: The concept of "awareness ribbons" now means officially nothing.

I saw one of these on a car today:



That's a bit of awareness I could have done without.

Monday, November 01, 2010

"Bone Rattler"

Yes, if you dress up your dog with spray paint to make him look like he is some kind of skeleton, and then you upload a picture of him to KSAT-12's website so that they can include it in their Halloween slideshow, you just might get a comment like this from me:



Nice bone.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Car crashes into house

Remember, it's all alleged until there's a conviction.
SAN ANTONIO -- A 24-year-old driver allegedly slammed his car into the front of a home in the 400 block of Clark, on the city's east side, police said.

He then attempted to run from the scene. The crash happened around 2 a.m. Sunday.
(from KENS-5)

"Allegedly slammed". Classic.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Someone who should have thought ... even a little

Graffiti? That's a bad move.

Tagging church property? Even worse.

Spray painting church property with political vandalism that identifies your very own website and violates elections laws in the first place? Charming.

Pastor [Kevin] Colvard [of Stone Oak Presbyterian Church] thought he was performing his civic duty by having his church used as an early voting site for this year's midterm elections. But little did he know this gesture would generate a negative response towards one political candidate [Susan Reed], and indirectly cause damage to his parish.

"There are things that we need to unite us in this time in our country, and we don't need rhetoric to divide,” Pastor Colvard said.

Election officials and early voters got a shock Thursday morning when they noticed graffiti spray painted and even stenciled on Stone Oak Presbyterian Church's sidewalks. About 100 feet from the election site. It violates election laws.

"Since it is obviously political information within the voting area, so I contacted the District Attorney's Officer and inform them about the location and what was spray painted on the ground,” said David Neisen, an early voter.

(from KENS-5)

The graffiti says "firereed.com". The people involved with this website had this to say:
We know nothing about "Grafitti". [sic] We would never encourage vandalism.

...

We fear retaliation from Reed and the DA office (due to the website) so we must remain anonymous.
They swear they are Republicans who do not like Susan Reed, who is running for re-election as the district attorney. Nicholas LaHood is the Democrat running against her, and he swears he has nothing to do with the graffiti either.

It's all very odd, don't you think?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Asking my opinion, part 3

Here are the final eleven questions on the survey sent to me by some group using Charlie Gonzalez's name:


Do you favor withdrawing troops from Iraq?

Absolutely. When they're done. But I will support whatever troops are serving overseas, and, in all reality, we will probably have some kind of presence in Iraq there for many years to come. Remember Bosnia-Herzegovina? Kosovo? Korea? Italy? Germany? Japan? Still there.


Do you favor toll roads in the San Antonio area?

Here's one question where I wish I had more than just the YES-NO option, because I honestly, truly, and unabashedly don't care about the existence of toll roads. They don't offend me, and they don't make me feel good, either. So I checked both.


Do you favor Off-shore [sic] drilling?

I said YES.


Do you approve of the bailouts of banks and other corporations?

I said NO, and I wish there had been a more forceful way to check that "NO" box.


Do you approve of the stimulus package passed by the U.S. Congress?

I said NO, and I wish there had been a more forceful way to check that "NO" box.


Do you favor the legalization of marijuana?

Here's another one where I wish I had another option. I don't think legalizing pot would be necessarily a bad thing, but there should be some reasonable regulations. I ultimately checked the "YES" box, but it wasn't a strong "yes."


Do you favor the legalization of cocaine?

Again, I feel somewhat the same as the answer I gave above, but I'm a bit more wary of cocaine than I am of pot. I eventually checked NO.


Do you approve of President Obama's health care program?

I said NO.


Do you favor cap and trade?

I said NO.


Do you favor the mosque being built near the trade center [sic]?

I said NO.


Do you approve of Arizona's Immigration [sic] law?

I said YES. And I approve of our federal immigration laws, which it is based on. I just wished our federal government enforced those laws enough so that states like Arizona didn't feel like they had to pass a similar law just to protect their own border.


Well, that's it. I hope somebody uses my answers for some benefit. I don't hold out any hope that Charlie Gonzalez will actually see them, but perhaps someone influential to him will, and perhaps my responses will at least give them something to think about.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Yuchnitz Charged With Solicitation To Commit Capital Murder"

Say it ain't so!
Mike Yuchnitz, the owner and pitch man for My Econo $39.95 Optical was arrested Saturday night and charged with solicitation to commit capital murder.

San Antonio Police Department officials said Yuchnitz attempted to pay someone a $5,000 down payment to hire another person to kill his wife.
(KSAT-12)

If you've lived -- and watched TV -- in the San Antonio area for the past couple of decades, you've probably seen Mike Yuchnitz. Remember him? He was the guy who started his eyeglasses business and then began a series of constant advertisements featuring himself. At first, Yuchnitz was kind of fat, and he wore a white lab coat in his ads as he extolled the virtues of cheap spectacles. He seemed like an honest-to-goodness optician, and he always made sure to include "Retired USAF" on his titles bars in the commercials.

And then later he dropped some pounds, and he took to wearing colorful Nehru jackets and fedoras. But his eyeglasses were still $39.95, and he still promoted them eagerly on television. Eventually his son opened up some tattoo parlors, and there were even some locations in town that combined the My Econo $39.95 Optical with the tattoo shop under one roof. It was a unique and thoroughly strange partnership, but it was one that seemed to work for the Yuchnitzes.

It doesn't seem to be working so well now, though.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Asking my opinion, part 2

Here are the next ten questions on the survey sent to me by some group using Charlie Gonzalez's name:


Do you approve of English as the principal language for the U.S.?

Doesn't matter what I think, it already is the principal language of this nation. English is not the official language of the United States -- which I think is what the writer of this survey was trying to suggest -- but it is the chief and foremost (hence, principal) language in the land. And, I just happen to like it as well. So, YES, I do approve of English. In general.


Do you approve of Texans maintaining their right to select judges by a direct vote of the people rather than change to an appointment process created by the Legislature?

I said YES. The list of judge races on the ballot may be long and tedious to go through, but it's not a burden. And I don't like the idea of taking away any direct vote of the people already in place to simply turn it over to the politicians to let them decide what's best. They're not really smarter than us, you know.


Should the people have the right to enact laws themselves through the process of initiative and referendum. [sic]

I said YES. Many other states do it, and, like I said above, the representatives in Austin are not, as a class, smarter than the people that put them there.


Do you favor penalties for people who cheat on welfare?

I said YES. Nothing exorbitant, mind you, but I don't see anything wrong with fines for misconduct, especially when it involves tax dollars.


Do you favor Abortion [sic]?

I said NO. It may be necessary in some cases, but I certainly don't favor the procedure.


Do you favor a Federal Sales Tax [sic] rather than Federal Income Tax [sic]?

I said YES. Rather than, though. Not in addition to.


Would you vote for a candidate who is supported by the trial lawyers association?

I said NO. That's all.


Should the inheritance or "death tax" be abolished?

I said YES. Fewer taxes are better than more taxes.


Would you support efforts to stop illegal immigration?

I said YES. Legal immigration is fine with me. Illegal immigration isn't. Enforce the laws.


Should the procedure known as partial birth abortion be banned?

It already is. And, yes, it should.


More to come.


Part 1 to this survey is here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Asking my opinion, part 1

Charlie Gonzalez -- or at least some group using his name -- asked my opinion on several items related to the election. It came in the form of a large card with several hypothetical and real races ranging from president to county court at law judge along with thirty or so questions about whether I approve or disapprove of several hot-button issues, and topping them all was the phrase, "If you were to vote today -- how would you vote for the following?"

Now, Gonzalez is my representative, and I'm not particularly fond of him. But it's not often that a political entity asks my opinion in such a way that I think they might actually pay attention to it. The card was postage-paid, and it urged me to remain anonymous in my answers, so I think it was a legitimate survey with a more-than-decent chance of getting its results counted. Whether or not Gonzalez actually sees the results may be another concern, but I think someone will be paying attention to my answers.

So I answered it, and sent it back.

I won't get into all of the actual who-would-I-vote-for scenarios (although my favorite was a hypothetical four-way race for president that featured Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee), but I think I would like to talk a little about the approval questions. As I said, there were about thirty, so I won't address them all in this one post, but here are the first eleven:


Do you approve of President Obama's performance as President?

I said NO. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, but I can't stand it when a government gets spend-happy. I wasn't happy when George W. Bush started the whole bailout wagon train just before he left office, and I absolutely hate how Barack Obama has taken the reins and steered that train into an orgy of stimulus spending.


Do you approve of the performance of the U.S. Congress?

Does anybody? I said NO.


Do you approve of Senator John Cornyn's performance as U.S. Senator?


I said YES. I don't know Cornyn that well, but I can't remember anything he's done that's turned me off to him.


Do you approve of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson's [sic] performance as U.S. Senator?

I said YES, but just barely. Her Senate tenure is getting close to twenty years, which I think is a bit long in any one office. It might be time for her to go.


Do you approve of Governor Rick Perry's performance as Governor?

I said NO. I don't have anything against Perry, but I've never been completely impressed by him (except for that time he took out that coyote!). Meh.


Do you approve of Susan Reed's performance as District Attorney?

I said YES, but only because there was not an option for I'm-kind-of-in-the-middle-but-I'm-sort-of-leaning-one-way-more-than-the-other.


Do you approve of Amadeo Ortiz's performance as Sheriff?

Who? Seriously, I don't think I've heard anything significant from this guy since he took office. I said NO because I have nothing to judge approval on.


Do you approve of Julian Castro's performance as Mayor?

I said NO. Castro and his brother are career politicians, raised to be that way by their mother. The longer politicians are in office, the more I am suspicious of them, and these twins have been groomed for office since they were kids. Julián would have to really impress me with something to think otherwise.


Do you approve of Nelson Wolff's performance as County Judge?

I said NO. See explanation immediately above.


Do you approve of the performance of our City Government?

Hahahaha! Prigs in council? NO.


Do you approve of the performance of our County Government?

I said NO.


More next time.

Finding any excuse not to vote

Early voting in Texas makes it incredibly easy to actually vote! So it must take a special kind of effort to find some way to hinder yourself from, you know, voting.

Sabra found just such an effort.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Poo-power: SAWS cashes in on your gas"

Some stories write themselves.

SAN ANTONIO – When most people flush their toilet, that is the last time they ever want to see what they just flushed down the commode.

However, a new process at the San Antonio Water System’s Dos Rios Water Recycling Facility is turning that waste into power that could then be sold back to homeowners.

Partnering with energy company Ameresco, SAWS unveiled a new process Tuesday what will capture the methane gas released by the waste.

...

For SAWS, the partnership with Ameresco allowed for the gas plant to be constructed at a minimal cost to the utility, and now that the plant is operational, SAWS is scheduled to receive $200,000 a year for the rights to the gas from the solid waste. SAWS estimates 900,000 cubic feet of gas will be created every year from San Antonio’s waste.

(from KENS-5)

That's a lot of stink.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Raising Cain

Ever wonder why people turn out bad? It could be because they have parents like this.
San Antonio police said a man beat his 12-year-old son with a belt, then forced him to fight his younger brother.

According to the arrest affidavit, Robert Martinez, 31, is charged with two counts of injury to a child.

Police said the boy told them that Martinez hit him with a belt, causing various injuries, including bruises and cuts to their arms and back.

The affidavit said the boy also said Martinez forced him into a fight with his younger brother, forcing them to hurt each other.

Police said Martinez admitted to detectives that he had hit the boy with a belt and said he made the children fight to "toughen them up."
(from KSAT-12)

I understand not wanting to coddle your kids, but teaching them to be brawlers by the time they hit middle school might just restrict their options later in life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stripping in shorts and bikini tops

That's what your strippers will be doing, if you decide to open up your strip-club in the wrong place. And if one San Antonio City Councilman has his way.
[District 6 Councilman Ray] Lopez said there are too many loopholes in the current laws and they need to be closed. His biggest concern is that adult businesses may open inside the zoning boundaries of schools and churches.

"We cannot allow ordinances to allow that to happen, even if they are just loopholes," said Lopez.

He said the main problem is that businesses will open claiming they are not sexually-oriented because their performers are covered using pasties.

"Our position is: That still constitutes as nude, " Lopez said.

According to Lopez, that fact puts them in violation. In order to cover the loophole, Lopez said he wants performers to be even more covered.

"What the new ordinance is basically requiring is for the (performers) to wear bikini tops," Lopez said. He added that the performers will also be required to wear something more like shorts.
(from KSAT-12)

Girls in shorts with bikini tops. Sounds sexy, but it's not exactly what you'd expect from any self-respecting gentlemen's club. But, hey, that only happens if you open your club in the wrong zone, Lopez says. You'll be fine if you open your business in the right area, so don't worry.

Until City Council gets around to doing some rezoning, that is.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Confusing the Lone Star flag

Do you think this was caught now only because of the recent publicity surrounding the ordeal of the Chilean miners?
For the past few years, at least, officials in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, have been sending out absentee ballot packages that include a page with a flag proudly displayed in a wavy motion.

The only trouble is, it's the Chilean flag, not the Texas flag. And it took a Ph.D. candidate to point it out.

Troy Knudson , who is studying in Japan and registered to vote in Atascosa County, was the first to notice the mistake and alert officials.

"Apparently the insert has been used for some time without anyone (voters and staff) noticing," he wrote in an e-mail. "I guess it's funny in some way, but my initial reaction was more disbelief that no one had noticed."
(from the Austin American-Statesman)





Quite possibly, this is an honest mistake. Or, if you're not so charitable, you could disparage the person who designed these ballots for not being Texan enough to know the difference between the flag of the Lone Star State and that of a South American nation. Of course, if you did that, you should also disparage those who've been handling the ballots -- and using them to vote on -- for the same thing. And we don't want to go slinging a lot of blame, do we? Some people might get upset.
Janice Ruple , the elections administrator in Atascosa County, didn't see any humor in the mistake.

"I don't think it's funny," she said. "It's a serious thing."

Ruple blamed the woman who held the job before her for the flag mix-up. The previous elections chief couldn't be reached for comment.

Ruple has been on the job for three years. But she said she had no idea how long the flag of Chile had been there before she took office.
Well, at least a bit more than three years, I think.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Medieval upskirt

Dave catches someone doing something you shouldn't do to a knight of the realm. It's just not chivalrous

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Nude Dancing Halted At SA Men's Clubs"

You know, there's an easy way around this:
A district judge has issued an injunction restricting nude dancing at two San Antonio gentleman's clubs.

XTC and Paradise, both owned by RCI Entertainment, have been banned from offering nude dancing.

The ruling came after months of litigation between the city and RCI Entertainment.
(from KSAT-12)

Just call it performance art, and you're covered by the First Amendment.

Banning texting

And another pointless law gets passed.
Hoping to cut down on accidents involving distracted drivers, the San Antonio City Council voted unanimously Thursday morning to outlaw texting while driving.

The new city ordinance makes it illegal to use a hand-held electronic device for anything other than making or receiving phone calls.
(from KSAT-12)

How enforceable is this law going to be beyond the laws already in place against distracted driving? All a person has to do when he's texting and notices a cop looking his way is to slap that phone against his ear and say he was just making a phone call. Not texting, just calling.

It's just another layer of bureaucracy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Voting badly in the golden years

At first I thought this was a little strange, but then I got to thinking some more, and now I wonder just how much the norm this type of behavior is around here.

An arrest affadavit said Mary Ann Comparin used multiple names to double vote in Bexar County from 2006 to 2009.

Comparin is accused of using her deceased sister's identity to vote in the 2008 General Election.

Bexar County election records show Norma K. Collins voted in the November 8 general election in 2008. The charging document said Collins committed suicide in 1963. Authorities say it was actually Comparin who showed up to vote, and she voted as herself, as well.

The warrant said Comparin's criminal history includes illegal use of credit cards and swindling.

(from KENS-5)

Nice old lady. Don't turn your back on her.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Collecting strangeness at the Alamo

They have a lot of weird things at the Alamo, but don't go thinking they'll accept just whatever you feel like donating. Even if they already have a bunch of cringe-worthy dolls.
A coconut from the Battle of San Juan Hill. A Bavarian candy jar. An Apollo 15 moon flag.

Those are things at the Alamo you might never see. The Texas shrine, which began celebrating the 175th anniversary of the war for Texas independence Saturday, has accumulated everything from the precious to the bizarre among its roughly 1,500 artifacts.

Most are listed, with an estimated value, in an inventory with the state comptroller's office. There's “David Crockett's wallet,” $400; “Santa Anna's cot and chest,” $500.

The collection also includes dolls dressed as Crockett and Jim Bowie that “probably were wonderful in the 1960s, but now look kind of creepy,” said Bruce Winders, Alamo historian and curator.

...

But for decades, collectors, families and veterans of every conflict from the Civil War to War World War I have wanted items kept for posterity at the Alamo, even if they had no historical link to the site.

“People were giving things to the Alamo even before the D[aughters of the] R[epublic of] T[exas] came” in 1905, Winders said.

That's one reason he can't explain why there's a two-handed Chinese fighting sword at the Alamo.

...

The Alamo collection is good hands today, Winders said. The Alamo, which charges no admission, hired a designer and museum specialists, and ordered display cases from Germany, in 2005 to create a “professional and modern look” in the Long Barrack, he said. Winders hopes to add similar displays in the chapel and sales museum.

“We still have a way to go, but most people who come back to the Alamo comment on the progress they notice, not the problems,” he said.

For now, space at the Alamo is as valuable as some of its relics.

“We no longer accept two-handed Chinese fighting swords,” Winders said.

(from Scott Huddleston of the Express-News)

In other words, keep your artifacts. There's no room at the mission.




Lisa Krantz/Express-News

Skipping school

Caution, or overreaction?

You decide.
SAN ANTONIO -- More than 1,000 students missed school Monday, and though some may be sick, Northside district officials said others may be sick of violence rumors floating around.

In the wake of two suicides, Northside Independent School District officials have beefed up security at Brandeis and O'Connor high schools. They've reversed [sic] to the dial-back system to reassure parents.

A huge upsurge of texts, tweets and updates took place, warning of violence and weapons being brought to the school.

Officials say the rumors are false and will be questioning students who spread them.
(from KENS-5)

Bonus strangeness: An unnecessary bit of journalistic flourish.
The disinformation has school officials questioning students, tracing back their text messages and facebook updates, alerting parents and beefing up security and patrols.

All to crack down on alleged threats… literally carried in the wind.

Nice attempt to use literally in its literal sense instead of the figurative way that it's often used these days, but wireless communications are not carried in the wind. They are carried on radio waves, microwaves, or infrared waves. No air is required.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stating the absolutely obvious

Looks like bad fake money is circulating around San Antonio again.
SAN ANTONIO -- Crooks are getting crafty with counterfeit money. Often, counterfeit pens can't detect if bills are fake or real, since many bills are made on real currency paper.

"What they've done is they've taken a $10 bill and they've cut zeros off of another $10 bill to make it appear to be a $100," explained Rick Brozek, who owns a Schlotzsky's franchise in San Antonio.
(from WOAI-TV)

This has been done before. But what's really strange is that the poor entrepreneur actually felt the need to point the following out to people old enough to hold jobs [the emphasis is mine]:
Brozek also has a tip he now trains all employees to follow: Always read the written text on the bill. If the writing doesn't match the number on the corner, it's fake.
I weep for our future.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Your county government at work -- getting re-elected

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
The signs for his Republican opponent, Susan Pamerleau, didn't register with County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.

Neither did the white SUV outfitted with more of her signs parked near the valet station on Ivy Lane.

And Republican Justice Marialyn Barnard, who's running this fall to keep her seat on the 4th Court of Appeals, was useless as a clue. She was strolling up the walk to retired healthcare executive Bill Rasco's house in Terrell Hills, just ahead of Adkisson.

Now, Barnard isn't a person — and those aren't signs — you'd expect to see outside a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White.

Unless you're Tommy Adkisson.

Yes — Tuesday evening, the three-term commissioner strode into his rival's first fundraiser, thinking it was an event for White.

(from Greg Jefferson at the Express-News)

And guess what? No one noticed right away! No one!

Well, almost no one.
GOP activist Carol Van De Walle said that when Adkisson stepped onto the covered front porch and planted himself in front of the table with guests' nametags, nobody but her seemed to notice.

Really, who expects the opponent to show up at your candidate's fundraiser?

“He was looking down at the little box with all the nametags,” said Van De Walle, who went to high school with Adkisson.

She stepped up to her old classmate and said: “Tommy, you're not going to find your nametag.”

It then dawned on him that he was in the wrong place. But before scurrying away, he hugged Van De Walle.

Sorry, that's just too funny! And Adkisson isn't even my County Commissioner! Really, doesn't he have any handlers?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Banning worm digging

Alan at Blogonomicon found what is apparently the best place in San Antonio to dig for worms. It's so good, in fact, it's banned!

Hitchcock knew how dangerous they were.

You just never know when -- or why -- someone might try to break into your house.
Police say the unidentified woman woke the family living in the 8400 block of Magdalena Run by banging on the front door, ringing the doorbell and yelling that birds were inside her home. However, the family had no idea who this woman was.

Police say the woman used a brick to force her way inside and broke the glass in the door. She reached through and opened the door from the inside and got into the home. The man tried to get her to stop but she kept advancing toward him. Police say he hit her in the head with a metal piece of a hydraulic pedal. She was unresponsive when officers arrived.
(from WOAI-TV)

The woman was taken to the hospital, but there's no word of her condition. If she lives, she's lucky.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seeing a nightmare come true

I hope no one goes through what this poor woman had to experience.
SAN ANTONIO - A phone call Thursday morning lead police to a body and a suspected killer.

Thirty-eight-year-old Luis Alfonso Gonzalez was arrested by San Antonio Police for murder.

...

SAPD was first tipped off about the murder by Gonzalez's wife, who phoned police when her husband came home covered in blood and claiming that he had killed a [wo]man.
(from KENS-5)

There might be more to this story, but right now my heart goes out to that man's wife.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On this day, 42 years ago ...

... a person in San Antonio died in a monorail accident.

I don't think you will ever hear of such a thing again.

(Read San Antonio Remembers to find out details.)

Someone who needs to be taught how to think more

Did you think no one would notice your freakin' huge bus!??





SAN ANTONIO -- News 4 WOAI has obtained an update on a school bus driver who drove through a rail road crossing to beat a train.

A viewer used a cell phone to capture video of the incident, which happened about a about a week and a half ago on Basse Road, just west of US-281. We learned the driver is from the school right down the street, the School of Excellence.
(from WOAI-TV)

Supposedly the driver was disciplined, but the story doesn't say in what "excellent" way that was.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taking political slacktivism to a new low

What if they held an election, and no one came?

Here's "what if":

SAN ANTONIO -- It's an uncontroversial issue; there is no tax hike, no bond at stake, no highly contested seat, all reasons why Southside ISD has had less than 1% of it[s] voters cast a ballot in its election.

The district needs voter approval to move $0.13 of the tax rate of $1.3689 from going into the Interest and Sinking Fund and into the Maintenance and Operations budget. The district estimates the simple readjustment will provide an additional $2.6 million for schools.

The problem is that with just a few days left until the election (Saturday, September 18) less than 100 people have voted. Southside ISD has almost 10,000 voters and has spent more than $23,000 to hold the election.

(from KENS-5)

See, the problem is, no one has been listening to P. Puff Diddy Daddy, nor have they been taking him seriously. They just don't think they will die if they don't vote.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rooting for the home team

"El Grande," a major drug cartel figure, was captured by the Mexican military.
MEXICO CITY — Mexican special forces marines captured Sergio Villarreal Barragan, allegedly a top member of the embattled Beltran Leyva cartel who appears on a list of the country's most-wanted fugitives, in a raid Sunday in the central state of Puebla, the government said.
Villarreal, known as "El Grande," did not put up any resistance when he was arrested along with two accomplices as they left a residence in Puebla city, according to government security spokesman Alejandro Poire. The raid involved 30 Navy marines, five vehicles and a helicopter.
(from MSNBC.com)

So, why is a lowly blog about strange things in San Antonio pointing this story out to you, since it took place in Mexico? Because of the fashion displayed by the fugitive.





Go Spurs Go, way down in Mexico!

Grand theft strings

If you wanted a violin, and you didn't want to pay for it, would you think it would be worth it to use armed robbery? One guy in town did recently.
A student on his way to school Tuesday morning was robbed of his violin and case, police said.

The incident triggered a brief lockdown at Clark High School where the student attends. He told officers a man approached him in the 5100 block of De Zavala, showed a handgun stuck in his pocket, and demanded the instrument.

Police later arrested Johnny Villarreal, 20. He faces two felony charges: aggravated robbery and unlawful use of a handgun in a school zone, along with a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

(from the Express-News)

Man, somebody sure was jonesing for a hit of concerto.

Spider monkey!

In North Bexar County! Watch out!

Stephen Tello, president of Primarily Primates, said the “ruddy black” monkey, named W.C. Fields, escaped last Tuesday when strong winds from Tropical Storm Hermine pulled open the creature's wire enclosure.

An 87-year-old nearby resident fed the fugitive some watermelon in his garage at one point, but it wasn't a good idea, Tello added.

“Now he's associating open garages with places to go get food,” he said.

Plus, watermelon is not good for a monkey's tummy and “I wouldn't want him to have diarrhea all over people's houses,” Tello added.

(from the Express-News)

I hope they catch that monkey! Believe me, no one wants diarrhea from W.C. Fields all over their house.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Someone who gave it a lot of thought, but not enough

Sometimes the bad guys just don't think their capers all the way through.
A suspect using a front-end loader hauled away a bank's automated teller machine, but police said the man ran away when an officer spotted him.

The man drove up to the ATM at the Capital One bank at Ingram and Hwy. 151 on what police said was a possibly stolen front-end loader.

Investigators said the man smashed down the structure holding the ATM, scooped the machine into the tractor's bucket and started to drive away.

But officers then showed up at the bank. They said they saw the man driving the front-end loader and the ATM out of the parking lot.

Police said their officers followed the man as he drove the loader into a weed-covered field. But the man's escape attempt fizzled when the loader got stuck in mud.
(from KSAT-12)

The burglar got away, but I have a feeling he will get caught for this, or some other, crime before too long.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taking up more space in your garage

When the City of San Antonio went to a two-bin system of waste disposal (blue for recyclables one day a week, brown for everything else on another day of the week), I thought it was a pretty good idea. The system is not too complicated, so no one can really argue that they don't want to participate because it is difficult to understand, and the bins are pretty large and can accommodate a lot of stuff.

And so far, it seems to be working out nicely.

So far.

Now the City wants to take that success and add to it and complicate it until it turns into a freakin' mess. Get ready for food bins!
SAN ANTONIO -- Officials with the city's Solid Waste Management Department said the department plans on adding a third collection bin for organic waste.

In addition to brown trash bins and blue recycling bins, residents would have a green bin, specifically for green waste.

"On your collection day for your blue recycle day, you'll have your green cart, as well as an option for your yard waste program," said David McCary, director of Solid Waste Management.

...

McCary said the green bins would be for green waste, such as leaves, grass, fruits and vegetable, but the exact rules may take some getting used to.

"I think there's a ... learning curve to this and I think that as that curve moves forward, it's gong to be impressive for people to know, 'Yes, I can put shredded paper in the bin,'" said McCary.
(from KSAT-12)

I wonder how all these extra bins will look when people start storing them on the sides of the houses because there ain't no more room in the garages. Homeowner associations are going to love this one.

But wait, there's an out!
Residents that don't want an organics bin won't need one, if they are already composting at home. In those cases, the bin [] would be optional.
No problem then, because I certainly compost at home. Don't you?

Oh, wait. Is composting allowed in the deeds and restrictions?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tropical Storm Hermine!

Just blew through. I hope every one's OK. I haven't checked it closely yet, but the level of my rain gauge as I see it from my back kitchen window looks to be at least three inches.

Stay dry.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails

Can you think of a better way to keep somebody safe?
Investigators say a 17-year-old girl admitted to planting pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails at a Northwest side home, because she wanted to protect her friend.

Temera Renee Sparks is charged as an adult with crimes, including arson and conspiracy to commit arson. Investigators say she admitted to planting a pipe bomb on the target's car last Monday and security cameras caught her in the act. That explosive failed to detonate, however, but neighbors were evacuated from their homes for hours. Affidavits detail how she was trying to protect her friend, who is the intended victim's daughter.

She also admitted to throwing Molotov cocktails at the home in mid-July and trying to set the home on fire with a pipe bomb.
(from WOAI-TV)

The target's ex-wife is supposedly involved, too. Sounds like there is a lot more interesting information to come out regarding this case.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Lost hope

Sabra tells you about it, and shows you a picture, too.

SUV crashes into house

Car, house, person. No fences were involved, though.
The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. near Walzem Road and New World. Police said the driver of a Lincoln Navigator came around a corner too fast and hit the house and a car that was in the driveway at the home.

A man sitting on the front porch was hit by the SUV. He was taken to Northeast Baptist Hospital with leg injuries but is expected to be all right.
(from WOAI-TV)

And that driver? Got to be the worst navigator on Walzem Road.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

"Frustrated Crime Victim Puts Billboard On Front Yard"

A man takes a bite out of crime -- with a sign.
Over the past eight months, [Juan Monsivais] said thieves in the overnight hours have pried open the toolbox in the back of his pickup parked in his driveway, making off with the necessary tools of his trade, time and time again.

Fed up, Monsivais proclaimed his predicament in a big way. After the last break-in on Monday, he yanked out a sheet of plywood, grabbed a spray paint can and scrawled "Fourth time this year somebody broke in my truck!!!"

Even then, Monsivais wanted a hammer to finish the job. Instead, he said he told his son, "Bring a rock or something because they stole the hammer."
(from KSAT-12)



That's a lovely sign. But isn't this just asking for more break-ins? After all, now all of the KSAT viewers know that you park your tools out in the driveway.
He said though potential thieves may see the sign as an invitation, he's not willing to risk his life or the lives of his family over a few tools.
Oh. Oh, I see. OK. Then why did you let the cameras onto your property?

Just wondering.

"12 year old dared by friends dies in accident"

This is not a good game to play.
A dare turns deadly for a 12-year-old girl on the city's west side Friday night. Police say Casandra Perez and a group of teens were daring each other to run across the Loop 410 access road outside Skateland West at 11:30 p.m. She and a friend were running across the road and the friend made it safely across. However, police say the friend turned around in time to see Casandra get hit by a car exiting the freeway.

She was taken to University Hospital where she died from her injuries.
(from WOAI-TV)

It's like playing Russian Roulette with traffic.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Old San Antonio map, the main thing

Here it is, by popular demand and in response to this post, your new city map of old San Antonio, from sometime between 1923 and 1933.




Take your time to look it over, but be warned -- this is a big file. In fact, I think this is the biggest graphic file I have ever assembled. It may take some time to load for you. If you have problems, pop into the comments and let me know. I might make another post with the individual pieces I scanned in.

Some things to look for:
-- The original city limits, which are remarkably geometrical.
-- Other military installations near Kelly Field.
-- The neighborhoods now displaced by Hemisfair Park, the Convention Center, and the Alamodome.
-- What the land the zoo is on used to be called.
-- What St. Anthony High School used to be.
-- Any other point of interest that catches your eye.

Happy perusing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Feed microtoxins swine udder

Yep. That's probably the strangest search string that ever led somebody to this blog.




What's yours?

Old San Antonio map

Here's your new city map, from sometime in the past.




If I remember correctly, we found this in some of my grandfather's things after he died, and I kept it as a historical document. I hadn't seen it in a while, not until I cleaned out a little-used drawer this weekend and found it.

I don't know what year this map is from. There is no copyright date, but it is from a time when telephone numbers were still just a letter and five numerals, and from sometime before the mid-1950s when the interstate system was dreamed up. (IH-35 was just a segment of the new "Hi-Way to Mexico City.")




I haven't decided yet if I want to scan the whole thing or not, but I did scan the panel that shows what the downtown area looked like back then. It's interesting to look at to see what has changed and what, remarkably, has stayed the same.




And here is where we get the best clue as to when this map was printed. Take a look at the bottom of the downtown map where St. Mary's Street and Navarro Street converge, just above the "F" marker. It's a little hard to read, but there are lines indicating the path of mass transit routes, and right at the intersection with Nueva Street there is written "Roosevelt Bus," "Hot Wells Bus," "Hot Wells Car," and "Brooks Field Bus."

Hot Wells Car and Bus. That means this map is from a time when San Antonio still had the old rail streetcars running as well as buses. And, according to this article written by Paula Allen at the Express-News, this is between 1923 and 1933 when the Public Service Company ran both modes prior to scrapping the streetcars in favor of an all-bus system.

So, there you are, your New City Map, possibly from the early 20th Century.

I wouldn't rely on it, though, if you need to get somewhere.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Truck crashes into home

And it takes out two fences along the way!
The crash happened just before 10 p.m. on Friday night.

According to the police report, a truck was traveling southbound on Bynum Avenue when it changed lanes at an unsafe speed and lost control.

The report also said that the truck went over the median, through two chain link fences and through the house.

Dolores Solis and her family were sitting in the front room when they heard the crash in their home.

"It was pretty loud, said Solis. "I mean it shook the entire house, all the way to the living room."
(from KSAT-12)

No one was hurt, but there is some bonus strangeness, specifically this description:
"A truck-size tire flew through the window and it landed in the middle of the floor of her bedroom," said Solis. "Had she'd been there she could have been struck by the tire or the glass."
A truck-size tire? We already know the offending vehicle was a truck, so any tire on it could be assumed to be the right size for a truck. That is, unless you own this:


(source)


Or maybe she meant the tire itself was a big as a truck, maybe like this?


(source)

It's hard to tell. What do you think?


P.S.: Holy crap! A tire flew off the truck when it crashed in to the house? Dang, that's some impact!